Flemish Psalter


This Flemish Psalter from the library of the Irish College in Paris was made in Bruges (present-day Belgium) around 1500. The manuscript is written in Latin on vellum, and it has a 19th-century binding. Psalters are religious books, especially popular in the Middle Ages, containing the psalms (poems that are sung) from the Bible, often with other devotional texts. Richly decorated, the Psalter includes a fully illuminated page depicting the Tree of Jesse and a miniature of King David, the main author of the psalms. Twelve illuminations, each composed of two panels, depict the months of the year and the signs of the zodiac. Nine sheets have borders ornamented with flowers, birds, and butterflies. The last illumination introduces the text of the Office of the Dead. The manuscript was commissioned by an unknown ecclesiastic whose coat of arms, consisting of azure-colored lion rampant on a silver background, is painted nine times in the volume.

Last updated: October 17, 2017